Most Asian markets end higher, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Most Asian markets end higher

This article is more than 12 months old

But geopolitical risk factors weighing on sentiment are still present, says analyst

Markets in Asia breathed a sigh of relief yesterday, recovering from Monday's sharp decline on easing concerns over the state of the global economy and a possible US recession.

IG market strategist Pan Jingyi said the recovery suggested that markets were oversold on fears.

But ForexTime research analyst Lukman Otunuga noted that geopolitical risk factors weighing on investor sentiment were still present.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index (STI) gained 17.36 points or 0.55 per cent to close at 3,200.28.

The benchmark index started strong in early trading before easing off, which CMC markets' Margaret Yang attributed mainly to financials and weakness in the offshore and marine sector.

The Japan market, which bore the brunt of Monday's sell-off made up most of those losses to close at 21,428.39, adding 451.28 points or 2.2 per cent.

Australian, South Korean and Malaysia markets also ended positively.

Bucking the trend in the region were China and Hong Kong markets, which added to the previous session's losses.

Ms Yang noted that these two markets in North Asia are "in the consolidation phase, allowing for profit taking and shares changing hands".

Trading on the Singapore bourse clocked in at 1.05 billion securities, about 76 per cent of the daily average over the first two months of 2019.

Total turnover came to $1 billion, just under the January-to-February daily average.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 242 to 165.

Seven of the STI's 30 constituents ended the day in the red.

Among them, Genting Singapore was the blue-chip index's most traded, ending the session one cent or 1 per cent lower at $1.02 with 28.5 million shares changing hands.


Going by value of trades done, DBS Group Holdings saw $77.05 million traded - 7.7 per cent of the bourse's value of securities traded - across 3.06 million shares.

The bank's shares fell two cents or 0.1 per cent to $25.10.

However, the other local banks managed to eke out gains. OCBC Bank closed four cents or 0.4 per cent higher at $11.03 and United Overseas Bank added six cents or 0.2 per cent to close at $25.01.

ComfortDelGro shares continued on their upward trajectory, advancing six cents or 2.4 per cent to $2.57, a 52-week high.

The transport company's shares have gained 19 per cent this year and picked up from the period of peak competition between taxi and ride-hailing companies.

Real estate investment trusts (Reits) saw active trading on the day, with the majority of counters up.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust was the most active, gaining five cents or 2.6 per cent to end at $1.97 with 22.7 million units traded.

Slower global growth and a conducive interest rate outlook have put Reits in the crosshairs of investors.

UOB Kay Hian's vice-president of equities and financial products Brandon Leu acknowledged that the piqued interest was likely down to investors looking to beef up their portfolios with defensive plays.

He added that investors could also be "getting into the Reits before most of them trade ex-dividend in April".

Sino Grandness' plans to strengthen its financial and working capital through a placement share issue saw its share shoot up by 42 per cent during Monday's trading session.

However, the counter retreated by 0.3 cents or 4.9 per cent to close 5.8 cents yesterday.